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September 2013 story tips
Date:9/3/2013

aid CCSI's Jitendra Kumar. "Based on our fitness mapping of about 200 tree species, most are expected to see reduction in their suitable habitat under warming climates, but a handful will gain suitable habitat." [Contact: Dawn Levy, (865) 241-4630); levyd@ornl.gov]

HELIUM Selective sieving membrane . . .

A membrane technology developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory could help secure the nation's helium supply by enabling the extraction of helium from new, low-grade sources. A steady supply of helium is critical for high-tech applications in MRI machines, fiber optic manufacturing, semiconductor fabrication and more. The sieving membrane technology can efficiently separate helium from nitrogen-rich hydrocarbon streams that are currently untapped by natural gas producers. The increased selectivity and robust nature of the ORNL membrane allow for the cost-effective recovery of helium even where gas concentrations are very low. ORNL and Helios-NRG, a small business in New York, are collaborating to field-test the membrane technology as part of a hybrid system. [Written by Morgan McCorkle; contact: news@ornl.gov]

MEDICAL Improving drug design . . .

Scientists are using supercomputers to reveal the structure of proteins whose aggregation is involved in the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease. Pavan GhattyVenkataKrishna, a former Oak Ridge National Laboratory postdoctoral student, led a study that explains how amyloid beta, a small protein, aggregates and folds, and also explains exactly which amino acid residues can interact with drugs. Before ORNL's study, researchers had proposed several possible structures for the amyloid beta protein, but knowing the physiologically relevant structure, as described in this study, could help scientists develop drugs that can treat patients suffering f
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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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